|VIOLENCE IN DELHI … OVER CAA|
COMMENT POLITICS DELHI STREET CLASHES
By Tathagata Satpathy, ex-MP
THE NON-VIOLENT protest at Shaheen Bagh, it appears, will pave the way for widespread violent struggles in the country. It portends to deepen religious schism, which, in turn, will benefit the BJP. Many are dead, including a police head constable, in rioting across Northeast Delhi between pro and anti-CAA protesters. Maujpur, Jafrabad, Chandbagh and Karwal Nagar are the specific hard-hit areas. Hundreds are injured. But more worrying reports are coming through. One of the rioters was caught on camera shooting at the anti-CAA protesters and he even pointed the weapon at the police. This protester was said to be a supporter of the BJP-led offensive against the anti-CAA protests.
This was not the first time anti-CAA protests saw firearms being used in clashes between protesting groups. Two instances of protesters firing pistols were reported earlier against anti-CAA protesters. This is a very dangerous trend and the administration seems turning a blind eye to it.
The second scenario is equally inimical to the nation’s Constitutional ideals. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has placed the onus of protecting the Shaheen Bagh protesters and maintaining law and order, at the doorsteps of Delhi Police. He has stated that policemen on the ground were awaiting orders from their seniors and that no direction to disperse crowds by use of force was being issued to them. Lives are being lost in the name of an Act that in effect is but another paper tiger in an already lawless land.
If the State intends to harass a citizen for any reason, existing laws provide it with more than adequate means to do so. The amendment of the Citizenship Act is but an addition whose purpose was to merely incite such divisions among the people. It might be just as or even more futile than the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into Union Territories. Imagine the mental condition of the young students of schools and colleges in the Valley whose educational institutions reopened after 200 days on Monday, 24 February. Expecting of them to imbibe a pro-India attitude may be a difficult pill to swallow.
A published report indicates that abrogation of the Articles is still far from bringing investments into the region, given the hurdles that remain in the policies of the state. It surely was not ‘development’ that encouraged the abrogation. It would be misplaced optimism if one were to believe that the government would keep its focus on the state for long. It needs more decoys such as the CAA and NRC to keep the people guessing and fuming.
With constantly shifting targets, the public are bound to be overwhelmed and the country, hopping from one crisis to another, would finally not achieve anything. The reasons for electing this party to power, Vikas, would be buried under the heaps of (dead) bodies. Several lives have been lost in the streets in the name of matters that do not matter. Real issues pertaining to development have long been put on the backburner. Our fights today are with phantoms while the loot is happening right under our noses.
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